Training on urban gardening and best agronomic practices in South Sudan.
Photo: © FAO/JC McIlwaine/UNMISS


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Owing to on-going civil war, South Sudan has been plagued by a major humanitarian crisis for several years. More than half of the population are suffering hunger. With the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched an urban gardening project in 2015. Around 6,500 families benefited from the project.

Having gained independence in 2011, South Sudan slid into a civil war in 2013 that has since claimed tens of thousands of lives and turned millions into refugees. As a result, the population of Juba has exploded. A semi-rural, large-scale settlement has become a city of 900,000 inhabitants; the internally displaced persons no longer have access to their fields and cannot afford the vegetables sold on the market. Food prices are soaring, above all owing to currency fluctuations and a high rate of inflation. Families lack just about everything.

Strengthening livelihoods

In order to boost the resilience of the crisis-shaken population, with the support of SDC, the FAO launched an urban gardening project in Juba and its surroundings in 2015. People were trained in growing vegetables in order to strengthen the livelihoods of their families. They sold the share of the harvest they did not need for themselves on the local markets.

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